Record number of WCHA Scholar-Athletes Award recipients for 2016-17 season

2017 WCHA new featured

By @MichaelCaples –

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced today a record number of players named to the conference’s WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipient list for men’s and women’s hockey.

A total of 145 players were selected for the classroom-achievement honor; see the list of Michigan names below.

“On behalf of the entire Western Collegiate Hockey Association family, we extend our sincere congratulations to all our men’s and women’s WCHA Scholar-Athletes for 2016-17,” said Michigan Tech president Glen Mroz, Minnesota Duluth representative Steve Castleberry, WCHA men’s commissioner Bill Robertson and WCHA women’s commissioner Katie Million in a joint statement. “The individuals who compete in our conference are a special group, all embodying the very best of the student-athlete ideal. For the league to recognize a record number of Scholar-Athlete Award recipients for a second-consecutive year is a testament to the ongoing and successful commitment of our member institutions to the WCHA mission of providing the very best experience, both on and off the ice.”

The WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award was developed for the 2005-06 season; players earning the award must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution and must carry a grade-point average of 3.5.

Players from Michigan-based WCHA schools (Michigan natives in bold):

(**** indicates four-time recipient; *** indicates three-time recipient; ** indicates two-time recipient)

Ferris State University

Tyler Andrew** (Jr., F, Bethel Park, Pa.); Andrew Dorantes** (Jr., F, Waterford, Mich.); Tyler Dorantes** (Jr., F, Waterford, Mich.); Jacob Hetz (So., F, Glenshaw, PA.); Mitch Maloney (Jr., F, Macomb, Mich.); Andrew Mayer** (Jr., F, Troy, Mich.); Chad McDonald*** (Sr., F, Battle Creek, Mich.); Craig Pefley (Fr., F, St. Clair, Mich.); Trevor Recktenwald (So., F, Venetia, PA); Zach Szanjer** (Jr., F, White Lake, Mich.); Zac Tierney (So., D, London, Ontario)

Lake Superior State University

Gordon Defiel** (Jr., G, Stillwater, Minn.); Nick Kossoff (So., G, West Des Moines, Iowa); Ryan Renz** (Jr., D, Castlegar, British Columbia); Aidan Wright** (Jr., D, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario)

Michigan Technological University

Brent Baltus*** (Sr., F, Nanaimo, British Columbia); Devin Kero** (So., G, Hancock, Mich.); Chris Leibinger** (Sr., D, Saginaw, Mich.); Dylan Steman** (Jr., F, Hanover, Minn.); Cliff Watson** (Sr., D, Appleton, Wis.)

Northern Michigan University

Mathias Israelsson (So., G, Ytterby, Sweden); Zach Diamantoni** (Jr., F, Boca Raton, Fla.); Brendan Jacques (So., F, Calumet, Mich.); Jesse Juntilla (So., D, Calumet, Mich.); Brock Maschmeyer*** (Sr., D, Bruederheim, Alberta); Robbie Payne** (Jr., F, Gaylord, Mich.); Denver Pierce (So., F, Sault Ste. Marie); Sami Salminen*** (Sr., F, Helsinki, Finland); Filip Starzynski** (Jr., F, Warsaw, Poland); Atte Tolvanen (So., G, Vihti, Finland); James Vermeulen (So., D, Stony Plain, Alberta)

Michigan natives at other WCHA schools:

Jordan Uhelski (Jr., G, Flint, Mich.) – University of Alabama in Huntsville

Carter Foguth (Sr., D, Fenton, Mich.) – Minnesota State University, Mankato

Christa Moody*** (Sr., D, Battle Creek, Mich.) – St. Cloud State University


MiHockey Staff

Welcome to MiHockey, your source for all things hockey in Michigan.